Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Mummy (1959)

From the back of the DVD box: “In Hammer Studio’s vivid 1959 Technicolor reincarnation of The Mummy, screen horror icon Christopher Lee wraps on the moldy gauze bandages and emerges as the tormented Kharis, an avenger stalking the hills and bogs of Victorian England to track down archeologist John Banning (Peter Cushing) and other desecrators of his beloved Princess Ananka’s Egyptian tomb.”

Another great Hammer rejuvenation of a classic franchise. I love mummy movies, and this is pretty much what I think of when I think of Mummy flicks. This ain’t some cheap normal guy devoid of bandages. Lee sports the bandages through out the movie. He’s a friggin’ juggernaut too, an unstoppable force in all of his door busting, metal bending, crushing strangulation glory. Cushing is as good as ever as an archeologist slowly realizing that the curse of the tomb is real.

I was never bored with this one. It’s the classic definition of creature feature. And the colours are vibrant and pop off the screen, especially during the ancient Egypt flashbacks. This is what Mummy movies should be. I was always disappointed that the newer Brendan Fraser flicks were so adventure-oriented. When the hell did Mummy movies turn into Indiana Jones rip-offs?? Hollywood should make more Mummy movies like this one. They won’t, but they should.

After this, Hammer made three sequels, almost having nothing to do with each other: The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964), The Mummy’s Shroud (1967), and Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb (1971) (which didn’t have a traditional wrapped-up mummy in it).

4 out of 5.


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